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Old English/Philosophy building to be razed in May - The Daily Toreador: Home

Old English/Philosophy building to be razed in May

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Posted: Monday, February 23, 2004 12:00 am

An abandoned building, past its life cycle, will be revived in the form of a large, landscaped sidewalk.

The old English and Philosophy building, located northwest of the Mass Communications building, will be torn down in May.

The construction of the Experimental Sciences building requires buildings located next to it to meet stricter fire codes. The English building, constructed in 1960, does not meet current fire codes.

It would cost the university more to update the abandoned English and Philosophy building to meet the codes than the building is worth, said Max Hinojosa, vice president for operations at Texas Tech.

There is an additional reason behind the demolition of the building.

Tech is allowed a certain amount of appropriations from the state. The state looks at the number of students enrolled and sets a special amount that it will pay. Tech must pay for any amount exceeding the state's appropriation, Hinojosa said.

The construction of the new English and Philosophy building on 18th Street was paid for by the state, but the upkeep and maintenance of the old building is not. Tech pays for the electric bill and all repairs to the building, Hinojosa said.

There is not an exact date in which the building will be razed, Hinojosa said. It is sealed in preparation of its destruction.

"The building is empty right now," he said. "We've moved everything out that needs to be moved out."

Once the building is razed, a new construction project will begin to beautify the area.

A mall, or sidewalk, will be constructed from the bell tower east of the Carpenter Wells complex. It will extend east from the bell tower, crossing the parking lot located north of the Experimental Sciences Building and connect with the engineering key, Hinojosa said.

The project will be completed in October.

"It's cheap and not that expensive to build what we call a mall," Hinojosa said. "As Texas Tech grows, if we don't figure out how to get students from one area to another, then we've missed our boat in terms of growth."

This is one step toward developing a pedestrian-type campus, he said.

"It is a safe way to get students from the complex area to other areas on campus," he said.

The addition of a residence hall northeast of Carpenter Wells creates a new group of students needing to get across campus, Hinojosa said.

The 500-person residence hall will be suite style rooming in which four people share two bathrooms, said Sean Duggan, managing director of housing and residence life.

The $24 million project will break ground in May and be open to residents in fall 2005, he said.

The East/West mall is not the only one included in the master plan. A mall extending south from the Carpenter Wells bell tower to the new English and Philosophy building is planned.

This mall would cut across the Stangel/Murdough east parking lot and across 15th Street in front of the building.

Hinojosa said he is looking at traffic flow on the street between the residence hall and the English building.

He is considering shutting down the street for the safety of pedestrians and to keep traffic on the outer circle of streets, he said.

There is not a date set for construction of the North/South mall.

The two malls are part of the master construction plan for Tech that takes land use, flow, a sense of place and functionality into consideration, Hinojosa said.

The master plan is a goal everyone is reaching for, Duggan said.

"I don't think all this is going to happen overnight," he said. "We are not tearing down (the old English building) to create a mall, we're just piecing it together."

Student Government Association President Jeremy Brown said the mall will open a hidden area on campus.

"Our campus is so spread out," he said. "The institution is growing, and with that growth you've got to accommodate."

There will be benches and rest areas along the mall for students, as well as trees and landscaping.

"I hope students utilize it," Brown said. "If you have to tear down the building, make it look nice. We want it to have a good eye appeal."

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